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Byron Shire
August 17, 2022

North coast girl with tetanus critical

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Brisbane's Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. Photo ACCA
Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. Photo ACCA

A seven-year-old girl from the north coast remains in a critical condition in Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Hospital after she contracted tetanus late last week.

The girl, who had not been vaccinated against the potentially fatal disease, was taken to Lismore Base Hospital before being transferred last Wednesday.

On Thursday, prominent anti-vaccination campaigner David Wolfe gave a sold-out talk on ‘nutrition, wellness and detoxification,’ to an audience at Mullumbimby, where vaccination rates are around 50 per cent.

Mr Wolfe, who denied that his talk was about vaccination, nevertheless provoked the ire of specialists.

University of Queensland virologist Ian Mackay said vaccine sceptics often sought out information from people like Mr Wolfe ‘who fuelled their fear.’

‘The anti-vax lobbies and groups are very smart today. They use information in a way that sounds correct, but if you follow that through you can see where the holes in this logic and this thinking are,’ Dr Mackay told ABC radio.

Lismore paediatrician Chris Ingall, who treated the girl told the broadcaster the anti-vaccination movement was ‘an ongoing source of frustration for many local health professionals.’

‘When these campaigners come up with their quasi theories they’re ignoring the fact that tetanus is with us,’ he said.

‘It’s part of our environment and it’s not going to go away just because they have a fancy theory.

‘This is a reality of not vaccinating,’ Dr Ingall told ABC.

But health minister Brad Hazzard warned against jumping to conclusions about the girl’s situation.

‘I don’t know the circumstances of the parents, whether it was deliberate or simply an oversight,’ he told Seven news.

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    • Thank you Meryl, good to know what actually happened. Considering you are in an area where 50% vaccinate, I would’ve thought you’d do your homework on this Echonetdaily!

    • The one thing you won’t get from Meryl is anything approximating “real”. She uses “alternative real”

      Meryl is part of the AVSN, a rabid anti vaccine organisation with a current warning against them from the HCCC

      “The investigation found that AVN provides information on vaccination that is misleading to the average reader because it is either incorrect, inaccurately represented or because it has been taken out of context. ”


    • As far as I understand mainstream media haven’t made any statements other than the child was not vaccinated and now has tetanus. Those are facts.
      What are not facts are your claims that hydrogen peroxide and homeopathic Ledum are preventative treatments for tetanus. Those are dangerous misinformation.

    • I would have thought that the Echo would have investigated this story further as the article Meryl pointed out has been on Facebook for some days now and includes this statement:

      “Rather than being a story of irresponsible parenting, one could possibly make a case that this is instead a case of medical negligence based on ignorance of the symptoms of tetanus infections and potentially incorrect or incomplete cleaning of the child’s wound in the first instance.”

      If you read the article this seems to be the case… plus other factors such a relatives having bad reactions to tetanus shots. We don’t need anymore mainstream media stories Echo.. pull your finger out and do some investigative journalism and not just regurgitate MSM stories. Nick Shand would be appalled at this level of journalism.

      • Those evil doctors who promote vaccination turned the other cheek, saved the child’s life, and now stand condemned. How would Ms Dorsey have saved this child’s life? The poor innocent child has suffered an agonising condition needlessly. And now the anti vaccers want more suffering. Perhaps they can save the next child who is a victim of their conspiracy theories?

    • Ms Dorey, your blog states: “I’ve spoken with someone who knows this family well and have gotten the real story about this child’s illness and the family’s reasons for rejecting vaccines.”

      You are posting information about this child not from or with permission of the family, but from someone “who knows this family well”. This is not at all what your comment above states. You have – once again – breached patient confidentiality & should remove your post.

    • I do not know why you would comment on case of a girl who apparently has contracted tetanus. The only public interest in the matter is to do with the merits of vaccination. Parents of children who are not medical practitioners themselves do not need a plethora of advice of on the subject – they only need to consult their practitioners, who will have read the relevant journals on the subject and be able to advise those parents. There is no need for further commentary by anyone else on the subject, and I would urge you to refrain from doing so further.

    • It’s a rare opportunity to be able to respond to ms Dorey, who notoriously ensures that any attempt to engage her about her beliefs is shut down or blocked.
      A glance at her linked blog confirms that she will continue to conflate anecdotes, cherry-picked quotes and misinformation, all to support her fixed and false beliefs.
      her mental gymnastics are so well developed that she cannot accept that a child is dying because a vaccine preventable disease. It is plain that this will never change.

  1. It is interesting that we are now seeing more and more articles where the press are reporting on patients with conditions with a suggestion that if they had been vaccinated they would not have become ill in the first place. So let us all line up and get a jab, of all the vaccines which are currently available.
    By the way stop driving your car as your likely to have an accident sometime during your driving life. Potentially life threatning. Consider the safe option!!

    If you are considering a vaccination of any type, ask your doctor to sign a legally binding agreement that the person being inoculated will not suffer any adverse reaction as a result of the inoculation. Short or long term.
    Ask them to have the vaccination at the same time, with you. If your satisfied go ahead.

    • Firstly, basic English. “You are” is contracted to ” you’re”. Not ” your”. Now for confusing analogies. Antivaccers drive cars, putting their children at far greater risk than vaccination. Risk of serious injury or death in an MVA: 1 in 2500. Risk of serious injury or death from a vaccine 1 in one million( American compensation statistics). Risk of the diseases these vaccines prevent: thousands of times greater. I have personally had every vaccination available. Perhaps have antivaccers sign an agreement that not vaccinating children against tetanus guarantees them that their children will not suffer this life threatening, agonising condition? Not jolly likely!

    • Australia’s health promotion campaigns have been highly successful and are one of the main reasons we have very good health outcomes. One of the principles of health promotion is to keep the message simple. In this case you do not need to telling people what to tell their GP, or otherwise send people mixed messages. If they have any concerns with the general public advice on immunization they should discuss that with their GP and follow her or his advice.

  2. Vaccinate your kids!!! I dont understand why parents don’t, the pain of a needle would have been far less than what this innocent young girl went through…

  3. Poor girl…. A horrible thing to be suffering from. I hope she recovers well and everyone one learns from this to be vigilant about keeping up vaccinations.

  4. Meryl, as predicted you have cropped up desperate for attention. You blog is a concocted ‘friend of a friend’ story that had nothing to do with the parents. The parents have requested absolute privacy on this matter and you should be respecting that so they can focus other daughter and themselves to get through this disaster. I’m sure that the parents will tell their story in their own good time. That will be the story we will listen to, not the stuff you make up.

  5. I’m so surprised by the utter indoctrination in some of these comments. As human beings we all have the right to choose what we believe is best for ourselves and our families. We base these decisions on the information available to us: experience, trusted opinion, advice and evidence.

    Anyone who suggests that important decisions should be based on advice from only 1 person, whether that person is a doctor or an anti-vacver, is an idiot. For every expert that has an evidence based opinion on anything, i can produce another expert that has an evidence based opinion that is different. People who understand research and statistics all know this.

    So before you ignorantly argue that there is little evidence to support a particular point of view, you should read as many research papers as possible to determine whether that perspective has been consistently and reliably proven wrong or if it simply has not attracted the funding and publication space to be tested at all. There is a HUGE difference.

    Funnily enough, it usually takes more research and thoughtfulness to go against the grain than to go with it. In general, people who question vaccines know the facts and arguments on both sides, but those who dont question can only regurgitate a few catch phrases from a pamphlet or their doctor or the nurse who gets paid to give vaccinations – obviously they have to be 100% for vacvinations or they would change jobs.

    The government has always always been prepared to sacrifice a few people to achieve their goals. Look at wars – we know some of our people are going to die, but we feel that is justified for our greater plan, whatever that might be. And that sacrifice is fine by the rest of us as long as its not someone we know.

    With vaccinations, some people are sacrificed – this is real. Maybe its not a number that has any signifcance to anyone who is pro vaccine, but any intelligent parent has to wonder if the child to be sacrificed is going to be theirs. Other parents may not make the same decisions as you would, but surely you have to respect that none of us are wanting the sacrifice to be our child.

    If you want to have a public opinion on anything, you should ask yourself how much you really know about all aspects of the topic.


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